On da Hook: March 6, 2015 Off da Hook: March 8, 2015 Pattern: Improvised by Hooker Leo of A Hooker’s World Yarn:Sirdar Snuggly Baby Care (Fiber Content: 60% Acrylic, 40% Cotton; Yarn Color: 0321; Yarn Weight: 3, DK) Hook: US G/6 – 4.00 mm Dimensions: 4 inch width x 44 inch circumference
Having tired of brioche knit and having been gifted with two skeins of this lusciously soft yarn by my friend Cathy, I decided to crochet this mobius cowl real quick, which also satisfied my need to complete a project. I started with a chain of 200, created a mobius twist, and worked alternating front and back post double crochets, ending with a crab stitch border. This cowl is smaller than I normally like to make them but very cute, appropriate and did I mention soft? It has the feeling of worn jeans and as I was crocheting it, I kept envisioning it with a casual outfit. I love all the texture also.
I asked Cathy if she wanted the cowl to take on her Peru cruise, departing next Sunday. I am kind of hoping she will accept it, letting me off the hook for a shawl out of the rayon-type thread I was originally asked to make. If not, I will create a new post advertising the cowl for sale. I should know on Thursday, when Cathy will have a chance to review the project and decide if she wants it, or not.
The project name Circle In The Sand by Belinda Carlisle – is a selection from my music library.
Cast On: December 22, 2014 Cast Off: January 10, 2015 Finished: February 13, 2015 Pattern: Improvised by Hooker Leo of A Hooker’s World Yarn A:Berroco Optik (Fiber Content: 48% Cotton, 21% Acrylic; 20% Mohair, 8% Metallic, 3% Polyester; Yarn Color: 4937; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted) Yarn B: Mutine Bo Bouton d’Or (Fiber Content: 40% Cotton, 32% Viscose, 24% Polyamide, 4% Polyester; Yarn Color: Poivre 464; Yarn Weight: 3, DK) Yarn C: ONline Linie 103 Allegro (Fiber Content: 45% Virgin Wool, 45% Polyamide, 10 Polyester; Yarn Color: 0004; Yarn Weight: 5, Chunky) Yarn D: Unknown
A previous customer/friend of mine from the yarn store gifted me with a bunch of brown novelty yarn approximately in November 2014. My idea was to just knit it into a warp, not even considering the different weights, which I finally nailed down today in preparation of this post. Of course the sides of my fabric bowed and pulled, which was unattractive. Then a lightbulb went off one night in a dream, when I finally found a use for some fox heads a previous guild member had gifted me with.
Today, having a car, I ventured out to F & S Fabrics to buy a needle that would pierce the hide, a thimble and some heavy duty thread. I then went to Michaels to purchase some Xacto replacement blades for trimming the hides. I sewed the heads onto either end, seamed up the fabric sides to create a tube, and voila!
The project name – What Does The Fox Say? by Ylvis – should be obvious. The scarf if available for purchase: Price: USD $288.00. This price reflects only knitting time, as the yarn was gifted to me, as well as the fox heads.
On da Hook: September 26, 2014 Off da Hook: November 11, 2014 Pattern: Delightful Diagonals by Mona Modica from Crochet World Magazine, Spring 2014: Fun With Color in Thread Hook: US G/6 Yarn A: Berroco Folio (Fiber Content: 65% Superfine Alpaca, 35% Rayon; Yarn Color: 4510; Yarn Weight: 3, DK) Yarn B: Berroco Folio (Fiber Content: 65% Superfine Alpaca, 35% Rayon; Yarn Color: 4518; Yarn Weight: 3, DK)
I was honored by the commission of a friend to make this shawl for her. At the time she asked, I had to finish Cousins Afghan first; that explains the length of time between the start date and the end date.
This was a very simple shawl to make, but the pieces are so big and the stitch pattern so repetitive that the thrill was quickly gone. I did have one problem interpreting a pattern instruction and sent a message to Mona, asking for help, but she never replied. Fortunately, I was able to improvise and finished the shawl by the requested date. When seaming the pieces together, I did encounter a stitch number difference when attaching the triangles and I attribute that to my improvisation of the misunderstood pattern instruction. Additionally, I attached the triangles with the wrong orientation and then backwards, so pay attention to the diagram layout.
The shawl in the magazine is one color. Because I used two colors, I might have been short a skein of one color because I only had partial skeins of either color leftover to do the border. When I advised the client, she said to forget the border. I would recommend doing the border, as I notice that the points kind of curl, though a border might not resolve that issue. I will recommend to my client that she steam it flat.
The yarn is nice, but kind of splitty. I love the colors the client chose.
The client is expected to pick it up today. I hope she likes it. The name of the project comes from the similarity of my client to the name of the song: Jesse’s Girl by Rick Springfield.
I finally found someone that offered to take me to the valley so I could pay a visit to Chris at A Major Knitwork: Gilda. She is a yarn representative and knows all the stores in the area, so we planned to go to lunch, visit some stores, drop me off to sit ‘n stitch at one shop while she attended a business meeting and then return home. We stopped at Corky’s – both for the first time. We had some lunch so that neither of us would fall out during my shopping excursion. The lunch was good and I loved the old fashioned decor. There was a bump during our visit when the wrong order was brought to us. We called the server and I mentioned that I had already touched the hamburger toppings – for sanitary reasons and as a courtesy to the unknown diner. However, I did not see the order re-plated, appearing as if the contaminated food was taken to the correct diner. I made the comment on the ticket and we left it at that.
Our first stop was A Major Knitwork to visit Chris. It is a very small store, but very charming. There was a table in the rear where someone was eating and there were computers on it, leading me to believe it was a workplace, rather than an area where one could sit ‘n’ stitch. For some reason, I was feeling purple and decided on purchasing Dream Everlasting (Fiber Content: 100% superwash Australian merino wool; Yarn Color: Amethyst 727 and Yarn Color: Angel 725; Yarn Weight: 3, DK). My initial vision is a striped shawl.
Our next stop was Hooked On Knitting, where I purchased two skeins of Ella Rae Lace Merino (Fiber Content: 100% Extra fine merino; Yarn Color: 121; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering) at a 40% discount. The shop is big but I think the layout could use some improvement, though it does appear to be an oddly shaped shop – triangular. There was a huge table where several ladies sat knitting, making it a little difficult to navigate around the store with ease.
Before our final stop we stopped at Porto’s Bakery, where I had a cafe con leche and pan tostado. I got the sense that this was a Cuban cafeteria-type establishment and only added that I did not want foam on my cafe con leche to make sure it would come to me proper. Apparently, foam on a cafe con leche is a west coast thing because my coffee came to me wrong and additionally it did not have any sugar. Ew! This alone leads me to believe all the hype I have been hearing over Porto’s is west coast related, as they have never had the real thing. The toast, however, was perfect. Finally, I was not a fan of the interior which was so damn noisy with chatter.
Our final stop was Unwind, which is a pretty big shop, but has very little inventory. There I picked up Hydeaux Designs Petite (Fiber Content: 100% superwash merino wool; Yarn Color: Summerfields; Yarn Weight: 3, DK). I stayed there and worked on my shawl while Gilda attended her business meeting. After she had finished, she came, picked me up and we head home to the west side.
I had a good time with Gilda and am grateful for the ride out to the valley. One thing I noticed about the three different shops was that it appeared to me that they all had similar yarns, unlike The Knitting Tree, L A, whose selection seems to be more diverse.
This is today’s project: a yarn sample for my friend that is a yarn representative for Interlacements Rick Rack (Fiber Content: 100% Rayon; Yarn Color: Scottish Lichen; Yarn Weight: 3, DK). The above image does not do the yarn’s sheen justice. I am just loving the color blends this yarn company is using on it’s yarns. I am about at the halfway point, so crocheting should speed should pick up as I am decreasing the length.
I am also taught this shawl at The Knitting Tree, L A. Despite the class being over, the students are still coming on a weekly basis for assistance because when we started the pattern, I screwed up. I figured I would test the pattern while teaching the shawl, but started finding too many mistakes, so now we are crocheting rogue, off pattern. Fortunately, for me, I met Chris from A Major Knitwork two Sundays ago, and his friend Kim. Kim is going to test the pattern – same yarn, different color; I think her color is Desert Lichen – for me and Chris volunteered to perform a technical edit of the pattern for me. 🙂
The name of this pattern is ironically, Accidents Never Happen Shawlette and the project name – The Adventures of Raindance Maggie Shawlette by The Red Hot Chili Peppers- was a random selection from my music library.
I did step out for a couple of hours to attend my Tuesday morning knit group in El Segundo, where I worked on my latest design: Let It Go Shawlette, being made from HiKoo by Skacel Tiara (Fiber Content: 10% Kid Mohair, 5% Wool, 49% Acrylic, 17% Nylon, 10% Bead, 4% Sequin; Yarn Color: 01 White; Yarn Weight: 4, Aran) because The Adventures of Raindance Maggie requires a table surface for ease of crochet.
On the way to the group last week I noticed this statue at the elevated rail station.
Don’t ask me where this is located because I don’t pay attention to the streets anymore now that I don’t drive. If I had to venture a guess this statue is located on El Segundo Boulevard, west of Isis Avenue. This time instead of looking up, I was looking down and noticed Farmer Boys – picture take from Farmer Boys parking lot.
Here is the next cowl to be donated to Handmade Especially For You, unless you like it so much and would like to purchase it at the reduced Price: USD $20.00. This cowl is seamed. I recommend wearing with seam at back of neck, as pictured. As you can see, the colors include white, pink, beige, grey, burgundy and a touch of blue and green in one of the multi-colored yarns, all of which are of a thick, bulky weight. The fiber content is most assuredly all acrylic/man-made fibers. The only identifiable yarn used in this cowl is Lion Brand Homespun (Fiber Content: 98% Acrylic, 2% Polyester; Yarn Color: Unknown; Yarn Weight: 6, Bulky).
The construction is a back loop, single crochet ripple with an US M/10 mm hook. I began with a foundation chain of 17. Row one is worked in the bottom of the foundation chain. Every row is 2sctog, 6 sc, 3 sc in the same (center) stitch, 6 sc, 2 sctog. The seam was done in pattern attaching to the front loop of the foundation chain.
When using the white/burgundy/grey novelty yarn (pictured at upper right), I held a strand of Cascade Cherub DK (Fiber Content: 55% Nylon, 45% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 01; Yarn Weight: 3, DK, Light Worsted) to ease in stitch identification.
The name of this cowl — Buffy Come Back by Angel and the Reruns – is a random selection from my music library.
Apparently, the cowl is long enough to wrap three times and keep your neck nice and warm.
So I finally returned to knitting. For the details that lead me back to knitting read this post. Otherwise, as you can see, another project has been completed. The pattern is Bridger Cowl by Kris Basta, Kriskrafter, LLC and I used the Karabella Aurora 8 (Fiber Content: 100% Extrafine Merino Wool Irrestringible; Yarn Colors: 286 and 1536; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted) and Wendy Peter Pan Double Knit (Fiber Content: 55% Nylon, 45% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 387; Yarn Weight: 3, DK/Light Worsted).
Of course being the rebel that I am, I changed the pattern:
by incorporating more than one color
by replacing the garter, just above the brown trim on the bottom, with stockinette
and by making up my own two border (Row 1: Purl; Row 2: Purl; Row 3: YO, P2tog; Row 4: Purl; Row 5: Purl)
I think I am going to make another with the skein of Cascade Casablanca (Fiber Content: 60% Wool, 25% Silk, 15% Mohair; Yarn Color: 3; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted) I have.
Thursday, I got a call from The Knitting Tree, L A about a job from the Prop Master at American Broadcasting Company (ABC), who wanted a 30 x 50 inch crochet afghan by Tuesday for a television series called Young & Hungry. Five days to make the afghan. At right is the picture of an idea he wanted. I told him to continue looking for someone because I did not want to say yes, unless I could enlist the help of another person, ensuring I could meet the deadline. Once I secured the help of someone, I called him back, we discussed pricing – based on my normal pricing schedule, which I have been advised is too low – and sealed the deal.
I went straight to the store to buy the yarn and encountered dilemma number one: was there going to be enough of the colors/yarn weight requested? With respect to color, I was doubtful on the navy; with respect to the yarn weight, I was doubtful there was enough white yarn. The store suggested double-stranding a lighter weight and I reluctantly accepted the suggestion. Later, when I got home, I found more white yarn in the correct weight, feeling more secure. However, I ended up using the double-stranded lighter weight yarn because I gave the worsted weight to the person that offered to help. Here is what I ended up buying:
I must mention that I am very impressed with the Universal Uptown Worsted and will probably make that my acrylic, worsted weight yarn of choice for future afghans.
I got two of ten strips done the first night. The next day, I get a call from the prop master, suggesting that if he paid an extra $100.00, could he get the afghan by Monday, allowing him more time for framing. I agreed and immediately sought more help from two more people that arrived at the store later Friday afternoon. Let me mention that if took a while for person one to match my gauge, using a hook two sizes larger; person two, a hook one size larger; and person three, a hook three sizes larger.
On Friday, person two expressed that she did not want to seam her squares together. That screwed up my payment schedule and was not appreciated. The quality of person three was not up to snuff, but she offered to seam all the squares/strips for me.
On Saturday, person one brought me enough squares for two strips but had left all the tails, which I discovered later – when I was informed by the seamer – were not long enough to work with. Unfortunately, the seamer advised me after she discovered one square, that had already been seamed, began to unravel. By this time, person two had stopped contributing accomplishing enough squares for one strip. By the end of Saturday, all squares had been completed and seamed. That is when I called the Prop Master, who informed me that the afghan was no longer going to be framed, and that he would like it larger: 36 x 54 inches. I was already having issues due to my method of seaming, which was causing cupping of the squares, thereby shortening the length and width.
On Sunday, I crocheted the extra 24 squares necessary to make up the difference in width and length and person three seamed them into place. This was a big accomplishment, allowing me time to wash the afghan, checking for construction quality. When I called the prop master to check in regarding the process, I left a message requesting the original deadline, as it was not longer being framed and he conceded. Phew!
On Monday, as I was tying sewing in the loose ends and resewing the loosened ends, I discovered at least five more squares that were unraveling. Aiyaa! Because it would have take more time to remove them, remake them and replace them, I took a shortcut: cosmetic touch up. I also began the border.
Today, I was just about to finish the border when the prop master arrived at the store. He grabbed some lunch while I finished the last half of the last round, came back, admired the afghan and made the purchase.
While I am ever grateful for the help I received from persons one, two and three, I have learned some valuable lessons from this project:
No one will ever match my standard of quality, just as I am sure I could never meet another person’s standard of quality
I allowed my ambition to fulfill a life’s dream – crochet an afghan for a television show – to compromise my standard of quality, which led to me being dependent on others
Unless all the yarn I estimate for a job is available at one time, I will not deviate or make concessions
I need to take a deep breath before accepting jobs that I have never quoted and make sure I have consulted with others before committing to an estimate
I discovered that I am blessed to know more people than I thought, who could have guided me more accurately regarding my price estimate
If I ever solicit help from others, I need to be extremely specific as to my expectations
Overall, I am glad the project is done and cannot wait to see it on television. I received a phone call from one of my bosses while composing this post, inquiring if this was a done deal and if the prop master was pleased with the outcome. I can only assume he was pleased because he paid, unless he has some secret elves stashed somewhere that can crochet the same afghan overnight. My boss surprised me the confident suggestion that I would have been able to complete this project alone. Perhaps that confidence will instill itself within me for future projects. I am blessed to have such thoughtful employers, who allowed me to use the store as a workshop, arriving/leaving outside normal operating hours to work on the afghan.
The name of the afghan should be obvious and comes from the song by Smash Mouth from their 1999 album Astro Lounge.
Even when mistakes are made, the thread of destiny is ever-present.
These started out as a store sample – commissioned by my boss: “Annette” – for Cascade Fixation (Fiber Content: 98.3% cotton, 1.7% elastic; Yarn Color: 9245; Yarn Weight: 3, DK, Light Worsted) and pattern: Basic Crochet Bikini. I chose to make the pattern for the smallest cup size: A. The pattern called for Crochet Hook: B/1 – 2.25 mm and Patons Grace Yarn, but the Fixation called for crochet hook: F/5 – 3.75. I started using the hook the pattern called for, but found it a little challenging using a smaller hook with the Fixation and the “branches” (affectionate term for customers, mostly female) at The Knitting Tree L A kept commenting that the cup was looking too small, so I switched to the larger hook. Being a homosexual, I don’t have much experience with breasts or cup sizes. 🙂
After switching to the larger hook, the branches kept commenting that the cup size was not accurate, so I did some errata investigation. I could not find any, but did find a bigger and much more detailed picture on Ravelry that indicated I was crocheting with the wrong orientation. The pattern does not clearly indicate this; I have commented on the pattern, but never heard back from AllFreeCrochet.com. That problem solved, I set forth, but for some reason experienced difficulty with my counting and had to restart at least two times.
In the meantime, a young, beautiful friend of mine from the store said whe would model the bikini upon completion, but A cups were not going to “be big enough for her girls,” so I changed to C cups and restarted again. Upon completion, the branches of “The Tree” told me that the C cup looked more like a D cup. Aiyaa! I proceeded to make the second cup, as I had not seen my model lately and she would be the ultimate decider. After finishing the second cup with the same majority opinion, no one was a fan of the pointed cup – a la Madonna’s cone bra from Vogue.
During one of Annette’s sillier moments she discovered another use for the huge cup: a baby bonnet for the gangsta baby who resides in the store. As an exclamation point on the story of these baby bonnets, I decided to name them after Blame It On The Bossa Nova by Annette Funicello.
I think I may still attempt to make the bikini, but will have to work out that point or find someone that likes it!
On da Hook: May 20, 2014 Off da Hook: May 23, 2014 Pattern: Original Design by Hooker Leo Yarn A: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: Unknown; Yarn Weight: Unknown) Yarn B:Plymouth Royal Bamboo (Fiber Content: 100% Bamboo; Yarn Color: 0020 Turq Blues; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted) Yarn C:Kollage Cornucopia (Fiber Content: 100% Corn; Yarn Color: 4 Island Sea; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted) Yarn D: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: Unknown; Yarn Weight: Unknown) Yarn E:South West Trading Company Oasis (Fiber Content: 100% Soy Silk; Yarn Color: Sapphire; Yarn Weight: 3, DK) Yarn F: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: Unknown; Yarn Weight: Unknown) Dimensions: 60 x 22 inches
For Sale: USD $90.00 + applicable shipping (does not include shawl pin)
Working from the stash of novelty yarn gifted to me by my Japanese Grandmother, here is the latest creation: Second Hand Rose Shawl. I was very eager to make a half-circle/crescent shaped shawl. At first I was going to knit, but then thought the ends would be hard to hide, so I change my mind an opted to crochet this shawl.
The pattern follows the formula for a circle, using back loop double crochets and ending with a crab stitch border. I strategically positioned my increases so that they would not be so noticeable: on the end for odd rows; in the middle for even rows. I really enjoyed working with all yarns except for the chenille type yarn, which proved a little difficult to hold, for reasons that still leave me baffled. Yarn A could be some type of soy, worsted; Yarn D is a chenille-type, worsted; and Yarn F, which is the border, is a mohair type yarn.
The name was selected at random, as it was the song – Second Hand Rose by Barbra Streisand – that was playing when I started photographing it. I must admit that the name is quite appropriate as the yarn is hand-me-downs.